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Nato 33, Russia 25, United States 25, Us 20, Europe 18, Germany 16, Afghanistan 16, U.s. 11, Libya 10, Australia 10, Turkey 9, Poland 9, Denmark 7, France 7, Britain 6, Syria 6, China 5, South Korea 5, Norway 4, Taliban 4,
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  CSPAN    Politics Public Policy Today    News/Business.  

    May 15, 2012
    6:00 - 7:00am EDT  

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political orientation and capacity to act. some of our best allies in afghanistan are australia and new zealand and united arab emirates and jordan, some native has been constructing the partnership program that would bring nature to a more global orientation, and that is where native needs to go with the specific partnerships. australia, japan, south korea, u.a.e., and others will not become members of nato, but they can play with us and exercise and train with us, and they should be encouraged to do so. we should not think of ourselves just as an organization that exists in just in north america and western europe. we have to have the ability to act globally, and that is in our report, as well. in terms of how we put this together, i do want to thank our review board, distinguished u.s., european, and canadian officials, who agree to disagree with some of the
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prescriptions and are not responsible for this in anyway. damon and i are responsible for the quality of this, but to have them support in writing, to have our former secretary of state madeleine albright and former deputy secretary of state, to have others join the board and agree with us, including the president bush national security adviser and secretary of defense bill, and, the former vice chair, supreme allied commander, and three former u.s. ambassadors to nato, and three others, it david miliband, a former u.k. ambassador to the united states, and my former british colleague at nato. we have widespread support for this report. we are very grateful for their
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intellectual import and personal support, so that is what i wanted to say. at the order is for us to have a brief conversation, and then we will be happy to take whatever questions you have. thank you. [applause] >> thank you very much for that. first of all, it is important to state that the atlantic council as a council does not take a point of view on anything, because it would just be too hard to get all of the members to agree, but i do think one thing we all agree on is a strong alliance and an enduring alliance, and this report points us in that direction. let me ask probably just two questions, and i will go to the audience right away, and two of the more controversial points, clearly, what you're saying on
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germany is tough, and it is saying it to a germany where many germans would argue, are we not doing the most important thing we could possibly do for the future of europe right now, which is aiding the euro zone and putting together the fiscal compaq, etc., etc.? what is your answer to them? and then, where is this german weakness coming from? is it historical reluctance? is it lack of political leadership? and what is the fix? what do you want germany to specifically do? >> well, fred, i think i can speak for all of us who wrote the report that we offer this recommendation with the greatest respect for chancellor more oil and their government. we understand that job number one for germany is resolving the euro debt crisis, helping your to climb out of a recession, and that has to be their first order of business,
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and we understand that. at the same time, the reality is that germany is a global power. it is one of the strongest and largest economies in the world and one of the most powerful nations in the world, and it is without question the leader of europe, and if they are to have a global policy over the next decade or so, they will have to be led by germany. germany will have to do what we have to do. we have our own economic problem, and that is our job number one, but global powers do not have the option of saying we are going to opt out of our global responsibility, so let's to in the united states for example. our taxpayers have been funding the first-rate military in the rug because it is in our interest but also because we have a global responsibility. germany has the same interests that we do, and we need germany to do that. we would like to get that message with great respect to
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the german government and those who read this report. where does this go? you would be better qualified than me to answer, but i would say that all of us understand that the german entry into nato in 1955 was a very difficult and complex operation by the eisenhower administration. but germany has more than proven that it is one of the world's most present democracies. it is now seven decades beyond the seven world war -- the second world war. no country has done more than to face the crimes of a holocaust that germany itself, and the current leadership is undoubtedly a truly decidedly democratic. perhaps an excess and ambition for the role that germany must play, and we were really struck by the fact that every european we talked to said we need a stronger germany. every american meter we talked
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to said we need greater german weight in the world. beyond economic leadership, beyond the eu, we need to see a politically, and we need to see it globally through the german military and in a joke. when the arab league asked major to intervene in libya last spring, when the u.n. security council asked, when there was a worldwide widget when britain and france and denmark and norway put their soldiers and airmen on the line, germany did not support it, and with the people we talked to, it was rather shocking to see germany not played that leadership role. that is the kind of thing we are talking about. >> on turkey, walked me through this a little bit. i do not think people would quibble with the greater centrality if you just look at
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what is going on in syria, but are you talking about a short- term move to make turkey more engaged? short term, perhaps even considering turkey to be the next general secretary of nato? or are you talking about something longer term evolutionary? and on the other hand, what does jerking me to do to earn this? one hazard reports that there is the turkish veto over israel attending the summit. i do not know that for a fact myself personally, but we do know about the strains between turkey and israel right now, and so if you can tackle malinois a little bit and think through how this might happen. >> you know, we were also struck, fred, in our conversations with other cell often turkey came up in the conversation, because as i said at the podium, it is a sad fact that in many ways, this is a time of crisis for the alliance.
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there is an economic crisis in north america and a profound economic and perhaps political an existential crisis in europe about the future of the act -- european union. there is exactly one country that is now accelerating in its power in the world, and that is turkey. it would be a missed opportunity for europe and america not to essentially say to itself, we need this country to play a bigger leadership role in our alliance, where turkey has been a very faithful member since the mid-1950s. we would be remiss if we did not take advantage of the turkish influence in the arab world, particularly during the time of transition during the arab uprising, so this is really not a controversial recommendation. it may be in some quarters of europe, and we can put aside the question of whether or not turkey should be a member of the eu. certainly president bush and obama believed that it should be open to turkey.
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this is our alliance, transatlantic alliance. to remain credible and effective, we need that turkish leadership. there is an ethic that all 20 of us are equal, and that is the way it should be. we operate by consent, so if we decide to go in afghanistan, as we did, and we voted and sent military force to afghanistan, as we subsequently did, they all had to agree. iceland, the military, luxemborg, a small military, they are as important as the united states, and that is as it should be, but there is a leadership circle. there always has been. it is based on military weight and influence and global capacity. turkey has never been in it or allowed to be in it, and what we are suggesting is by a strategic decision the united states, france, germany decide that turkey decide to be in that leadership circle.
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there is no easier way to do it then at least consider a turkish citizen, a turkish diplomat, a turkish politician to be our leader the next time that major chooses its secretary-general and four turkish generals to be given important military posts. you have to make strategic decisions, and our recommendation is that nato make this. it is a very complex situation. as we got into this and talked to others, there are a number of challenges that turkey needs to meet to attain the leadership role. first is the fact that turkey, because of its dispute with israel, it is a very unfortunate dispute, it has been essentially blocking, preventing the maturation of a nature- israeli leadership. secondly, a continuing disagreement within the eu over the cyprus issue.
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turkey is not solely responsible to that. there are two sides to that on cyprus. and third, there are some very worrisome developments with turkey itself in the last several months, restrictions on turkish journalists and the rest of over 100 turkish generals and military officers who will now stand trial. we do not want to take sides in these internal turkish matters, but just to say that there is considerable disquiet in the united states, canada, and year, and that we feel personally about this actions of the turkish government, and i suppose that if turkey is to play this leadership role, many of these deficiencies are going to have to be overcome by the turkish government. >> one other question on turkey. turkey would like an article for consultation. maybe you can explain to the audience, but nonetheless, if you could explain what that is,
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and why is there such a reluctance in nato to take this on? >> we do have a televised audience. we will explain this née to 101. there is a tree. we are committed to it. it obligates us. article 5, if an alliance member says we are being attacked, please, everybody else come to our aid, as everyone did after september 11. i was worried on the evening of 9/11. communications were cut off from washington because the state department for a time had been evacuated, and i finally reached some people, and i said that nato was thinking of evoking article 5, and we agreed that that would be a tremendous shot in the arm to the american people waking up on september 12, but it would not be such a good shot in the arm of perhaps they did not even agree, and to their credit, the year -- the
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european allies, and i remember the danish government, they said they would in essence side with us in a war against a foe the we had not yet even identified, but at looking at the collapse of the twin towers and the attack on the pentagon and what happened in new york and pennsylvania, that is article 5. article four, if an alliance member feels the same may be becoming engulfed in a war or attacked by someone else, and they say to the alliance, can we meet to plan the possible defense of our country from an aggressor, and in march in the 2000, turkey invoked article 4 of the nato alliance and said if there is a war in iraq, we are afraid that the iraqis may attack us, and there were considerable challenges of germany, france, luxembourg, and belgium to plan for the defense of turkey, and we
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succeeded. it turkey wants to invoke article for in chicago, we should all agree, because turkey, the prime minister of turkey has taken a very courageous leadership role and has turned turkish policy around. all of us should agree to invoke article four and have a discussion and protect turkey if need be. i think it is as simple as that. >> one last event for the audience. you have got tough love for the turks and the germans and the french, but you also have some for the u.s. what is your report card on the obama administration leadership so far, and more specifically, as the host nation for chicago, where we have got a few days to judge this so far.
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>> i think president obama has been very creative. an active and energetic leader of nature. and the way the united states is to convince some of the allies, denmark, to benefit from the leadership of denmark, norway, libya, and others was mainly certainly not a template for all future operations, but a very positive point of departure where in some instances europelyro tse what norway and denmark and others did, so i credit president obama with that decision. there is great respect with be administration, and i am very much a supporter of the administration.
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this pivot is really important that it be executed properly and comprehensively. no question about it. given our history, and our economics. so we are going to pivot towards asia. germany, france, denmark, iceland, luxemborg. altogether, reorienting ourselves not to forget the challenges we are facing in europe, trying to finish our work in the balkans, but to be present when we must, to be part of a positive solution in the middle east and others. the main recommendation to our country is not to be isolationists because we're having trouble here at home and to avoid draconian cuts to our defense budget. there are a lot of people here to understand defense better than i do. if the united states loses are quantitative military edge, if
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we lose our power to project force and to be a force for good, our foreign-policy will suffer, and countries that we do not like very much may emerge as dominant. >> so -- >> said the most important is that the united states league native. $450 billion is quite a significant contribution to budget cutting. >> thanks. >> in 1999 during an summit, we were bombing serbia. bill clinton was being impeached.
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there are some interesting things that support this negative view. the first issue is afghanistan in this new summit. second, economic and financial crisis in europe is going to be worse before it gets better, and, indeed, i think you'll see greater budget problems in europe, and last january, a perfect storm is developing in the united states over sequestration and this leads automatically to what you fear most, which is a draconian response. so how do you deal with these issues?
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and what united states will face in six or seven months when a new and administration or credit administration takes over? >> thank you. i would just say we specifically did not intend this report to be a comprehensive look at the status of the alliance. there have been roughly 862 reports to take the temperature. we wanted to focus on leadership, will not see a lot, but in afghanistan, there is a real test here. the united states and nato allies are trying to form in negotiation the the taliban and the afghan government as a way to create peace in afghanistan. it the taliban believes that france is going to meet this calendar year, in françois hollande carries this out, if the allies sprint for the doors, in the united states says we are not going to leave as
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strong a force beyond 2014, the taliban is going to wait us out, and they will think that they can emerge triumphant after 2014. we will have invested more time in afghanistan than any other war in american history, and so before we rush to the exit, this is a very difficult war for the american people, it is in terms of the loss of our soldiers and the huge economic situation. we have got to redeem this operation by making the correct choices. i am not a journalist. i would look at this afghan discussion and say, will naidas stay the course or drawdown in 2014 as president obama has promised, to lead a residual force? it cannot just be the united states that states, and hopefully a transition to peace talks with the taliban so we can have a peace agreement at the end of the war.
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the taliban will not buy any of that if they see as sprinting for the exits. you are right to say that the economic issue will be front and center. we are seeing a sea change in greek politics with the parties of the last 40 years. we are being outclassed and out run. the democratic left party. the second greek election in the middle of june, rejecting the austerity plan. i think we are right back into a profound crisis in the european union and perhaps the departure of degrees from the euro zone. a big problem. you mention sequestration. it is very important that the united states remained the very strongest military power. this is critical for the future of america.
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>> thank you. in greece as well. >> yes. >> i was struck by how skillfully the report builds on and corporate assumptions about nato with this administration and the past two. so it is a very useful document with one gap. almost nothing is said about russia, either as a challenge, which some in the lines think it is, or as a potential partner, which many of us hope it could be. what was your sense -- what sense did you get about the views of russia and the potential for partnership, and if you had to make recommendations for russian leadership, along the lines of leadership for the other nato powers, what would they be?
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>> thank you for your question, and thank you for your of leadership, continued leadership. you mentioned by partisanship. i was struck in the course of preparing this report, at a time when republicans and democrats agree on very little, that there is widespread agreement between republicans and democrats. that was reconfirming for us. when it comes to russia, a lot of our comments from our review board are, why did you not say more or do more? it is because we set out not to be comprehensive. we set out to be comprehensive among the leadership in the alliance, but if the alliance has to think about its most important strategic priority, getting along with russia, working productively, it will be vital for us, because europe at peace, that is a vision of helmut kohl and margaret thatcher and george h.w. bush 20 years ago, but the balkans, the western balkans.
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are not yet at peace and are not economically successful and we are not on track firmly with nato. that is unfinished business with which russia will have some degree of activity. we want to get along with russia and work with them for that end. secondly, as a partner, i don't understand why some people think that russia is the number one adversary of the night states. we need russia in afghanistan. russia is helping us to resupply our forces in afghanistan. we have an interest and support -- supporting counter-terrorism. russia is interested in that, too. we set out to look at the leadership within the alliance. 20 years ago. but, the balkans, the western wall, they are not yet at peace, they are not yet economically successful, and most are not successfully on track to the
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european union and nato. russia will have some degree of activity. we want to get along with russia and work with russia to that end. secondly, as a partner, and this is why i do not understand why some people think that russia is the no. 1 adversary of the united states, we need russia and afghanistan. russia is helping us to resupply our forces in afghanistan. we have an interest in promoting counter-terrorism cooperation in russia. i was thinking that iran, right now the no. 1 national security issue of the united states is the iranian nuclear future. if you look at that constructs, russia is the most important country at the table for the united states. china will not be helpful. the european powers, of course, have a limited influence. if there is going to be an endgame on iran, where we convince them not to start -- not to stop short, they will have a lot to do with that solution. there will be a very close u.s.-russian interplay and cooperation on iran. meaning that the nato russian relationship is critically important. the promise of 10 years ago when we created the summit in italy, that promise has not been fulfilled. i would think a major order of business for the u.s. and germany is to bring back a good working relationship with the russian government. very important. >> you can assess this in one of two ways. the low level of representation
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can be interpreted as us not really caring about nato. one could interpret it negatively in that respect. or one could interpret positively, and vladimir putin has decided that this is not the time. how you look at it? >> i like the glass not half full. it is curious that he will not be there at camp david. i think the excuse was that he had to be present for government formation. that really is the job of the new prime minister. it is hard to parse a statement from the russian government. but i think that this is an example where german leadership can be very critical. germany has been very skillful in retaining very important political and economic sanctions with russia. this is a very good example
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where germany could lead in the future to help the united states and united kingdom to rebuild our weak bridges to the russian leadership. we must do this, because russia is just too important. russia is both in some ways an adversary, politically, but in other ways it is a friend. that entails skillful diplomacy and i think the chancellor's perfectly placed to be that bridge to the u.s. and russia. >> terry murphy. good day. a quick comment and a two part question. common number one is you overlooked transatlantic business dialogue that has been going on for 20 years. secondly, on the question of
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germany, last week, i think it was, a youngster named captain harry wales got an award from the atlantic council for his efforts and work to support the wounded warriors in britain. we all know that wounded warriors here are well reported by the populace. there was a piece today about german wounded warriors and they did not know what to do with them. last week, the day after capt. wales got his current -- got his prince harry, in case no one got the joke, the british foreign minister from europe got an earful about how it was that britain was not helping germany. not helping them integrate militarily.
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there was still ambivalent. i do not know that that is true, but he got an earful elsewhere about his continued ambivalence on the part of the british. we know that he was extremely helpful in reuniting germany. the french had a lot of options. so, 80 w. r. -- two part question that is probably too long, but what you think? >> if you look at the executive summary in the report, we recommend transatlantic partnership that will be primarily economic and business oriented to sustain vital economic ties with europe. we begin to think that democratic nations aligning economically, why not a realignment and reinforcement of the investment trade and business links across the atlantic's ocean between canada, the u.s., mexico, and european allies.
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that is featured in the report in your first question. >> it is no accident that nick is sitting in the same chair that tom donahue was sitting in not long ago. we were eager to push for with the transatlantic partnership. we saw it as a single piece. >> i would say that they atlantic council is absolutely right to honor prince harry, a war veteran who served in that conflict, honoring britain by extension. i simply cannot agree that britain has any kind of responsibility. i would not agree with that point of view. germany had to overcome decades of resistance. it was courageous of the
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chancellor to deploy troops to both places. all we are suggesting is that we would like to see more of that kind of german leadership. thank you. >> thank you, sir. please. >> tom donahue, the head of the u.s. chamber of commerce. >> nick, good to see you again. very briefly, i hope that this report, and perhaps i missed something, can say more about the fact that nato is fundamentally a political alliance of the military arm, and not a military alliance of the political arm. i have worked with future orientation and training. the two functions are not well integrated, the diplomatic and military.
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my question to you is -- what can be done in chicago? not only for the potential cuts in the u.s. budget, but equally draconian foreign service u.s. that can do more -- as much good as harm. >> thank you for offering up the soft ball. i would very much agree with you. as we think about military power, it is just as important to sustain the health and strength of our foreign service and diplomacy in general. i would say that you have been a leader on this, bob. the last decade was unusual in american history. we have never fought two land wars simultaneously in our history except for between 1941 and 45.
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in a way, we lead with the military in a diplomatic reserve. diplomats on point in the military, we need to strengthen the foreign service and not cut the budget of the state department. we have had great leadership with secretary clinton and secretary rice to sustain our diplomatic corps, but we know the facts and figures that there are more in the pentagon then there are american diplomats. there are more members of the armed forces marching bands than there are american diplomats, we need to reorder our priorities. finally, preaching to the choir, the great majority of crises we will face in the next couple of decades will primarily lend themselves to diplomatic resolution and not military
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resolution, from climate change to mostly the fight against terrorism, which is political and economic. to all the things we have to do to strengthen our alliances in both parts of the world to coping with china. it will be a diplomatic imperative and we are weakening diplomacy at the time when it is needed now more than ever. i very much agree with secretary clinton, we need a stronger budget for the state department. >> thank you. >> thank you. i am a big fan of the ambassadors. thank you for this hard-hitting report. one of the problems of being eight new york per is about hedging. you will pardon me for asking this question. if germany does not dedicate
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its tension for nato and the uk does not follow through with its defense investments, waivers not able to deal with this situation, did you folks disgust plan b? >> we did not. there is no alternative to plan a, the continuation of a strong nato. everything the said there, i would not doubt that there is a worst-case outcome. if we go into sequestration and take $1 trillion out of the military and do not fund the state department, we will be a second-rate power and not nearly as influential in the world, which will be self- defeating. you can look at the worst-case outcome. we have to strengthen the alliance and the leaders of the alliance have to take responsibility for doing that.
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>> so, this is it? >> you heard the events -- the thought that we had in the report, but we are backed up by the review board of former secretaries of state, defense, national security advisor, and secretary general's. we are encouraged by the point they have given in the report. >> they are excellent recommendations and i wonder if you have discussed plan b, but i guess not. >> we have not, because plan b is western transatlantic weakness, which is not possible right now. >> hello. two brief questions. you mention australia and japan becoming global members of nato -- global partners of nato, but not members. why would you necessarily foreclose the possibility in the future?
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the second question is on the responsibility to protect in the aftermath of the libyan intervention. were there any regrets that they did not anticipate? in germany and poland? it seems to an outside observer that there was not as much commitment to this rhetoric in countries like poland. in service you might get consensus, but in practice to get derisive positions, even in situations " where even in a situation where the outcome should have been obvious to everyone. >> with your permission, i will reverse the order and answer the second question first. i hope that there is soul- searching in warsaw and berlin over the refusal of poland to participate. libya was a success. think about how one usual was. the arab league said please intervene in our internal
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affairs, the only time they had ever done that. the security council blast it and there was an immediate bloodbath. this was the right thing to do and it succeeded. we say this in the report, but denmark and norway step up big time and flew hundreds of air missions. when there are larger, germany and poland would not -- i hope that there was some soul- searching. not just because it was a victory for nato, and successful, but because solidarity in the region, going into combat, i think in need the support of everyone in the alliance, not just some of us. secondly, on australia, south korea, japan, the philippines. these are treaty allies in the united states and we are in an enormously fortunate position. we have an alliance system in
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asia and the atlantic's that reinforces the power of our country. china has no allies and the world. i do not think that there is the possibility of agreement in brussels or the nato council that the membership of the alliance should be global in nature. historically and by definition we are a political and military alliance based on the democracies of the transatlantic world. the imperative for nato is that europe and america need to be globally oriented together. when dan and i worked together, he was my closest colleague in the last administration. i will just speak for myself, but united states policy towards europe must become global. in the u.s. european relationship that had to be about europe, but also the rest of the world. that is easily done if we become political and military --
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not allies, but partners of japan and south korea. even with morocco, jordan, and the uae, can we train together and exercise together? so that when we have to deploy for a humanitarian operation or peacekeeping operation, or god forbid, a war, pound for pound, australia has done more for the united states or any other country in the world. nato has a defense relationship that is informal. the court says yes. of course we should. i think there is a difference of view here in europe. some european countries would agree with the united states. others would say that we are only about western europe and north america. if we are only about that, what
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about the policies of 1952? but not 2012? if you see where we have been oriented for the last 10 years, we need the alliance to be global. not by membership, but by exercises, training, and military cooperation. we have a lot countries that very much want to be part of that discussion. why would we turn that down? why would be say no to australia, japan, and south korea? >> on libya, what is your response to the following? as you know, not everyone in the cabinet room agreed, necessarily, with the libyan operation. i think they're arguing not so much about the success of the operation, but the uncertain aftermath. what about the chinese and
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russian objections that turned out to be regime change? we were not so sure that we were in it as seriously, so we do not have a resolution. what is your answer to the chinese and russians about syria drawing from libya and focusing the question on that? in general, what action would you take as nato toward syria with one of your members, turkey, wanting you to be much more for with meaning? >> one of the advantages one has i am leaving government service is you can speak your mind. my answer to the chinese and russian objections would be sour grapes. if you look at the absolutely cynical and i would say brutal attitude of china and russia to
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the suffering of the syrian people, they are not lifting a finger. they vetoed the european security council resolutions meant to give humanitarian release to the people six weeks ago. so, they are willing to let syrian civilians suffer the artillery in -- artillery shells and it will not lift a finger to help them. no one is talking about a military intervention right now. what the u.n. has been talking about is releasing supplies on a humanitarian basis using its military power. china and russia should be ashamed of their behavior in the security council. i have zero sympathy. i think that syria is the toughest question of the face today, because we all want to do something, but none of the conditions are present in syria that would enable the nato
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intervention in libya. there is no agreement in the security council, it is not desert warfare, it is urban fighting block house by house. i would think that we would require something like an adult war coalition, several hundred -- several hundred thousand troops to take on the syrian army to bring down the government of syria. i do not think it is an effort the u.s. government is willing to make or should make. we have plenty of other problems to deal with in the world. i would say that that is less with the leading support of the government in the world, russia, the have a naval base and historic involvement. they should do more to curb the brutality of the outside government. i would hope that over time they would fall because they deserve to.
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it would be a blow to iran. i do not see the utility or possibility of a western-style military intervention like libya, because it is completely different. >> just to return your comments partnerships. >>i suspected it might be from an australian newspaper. >>nato has a military sense of mutual cooperation and support. without sounding churlish, what is in it for the partner countries? >> thank you for the question. what would not be in the proposal that we're putting forward is any obligation or expectation on the part of australia, or south korea, to
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have any of the responsibilities that go along with the treaty. your country would not be obligated to fight or train with us. it would be your call. we had noticed that every time nato deploys, australia is there is a great friend and ally of the united states. we are calling for a partnership, very practical. where australia trains more energetically with germany, britain, and france. you already trained significantly with the united states. let's say that there is another humanitarian disaster like there was in december of 2004. what happened in -- what happened? australia, the united states, and india deployed together. because we had exercised and train together on the air and sea.
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you have been a stalwart ally in afghanistan, but you had to kind of do it on the run, not having worked much with european allies. you can call these patterns of cooperation and military training, but it confers no obligation. it is the best of both worlds, from my perspective. >> you are also hearing the most frequent point here being background from australian officials, more than happy to use our centers and resources, but we are not involved in the planning stage. we have problems and issues in our parts of the world, but if those two things could be resolved, it would be a qualitative change in the relationship.
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>> i would agree with fred. you had no say in the nature of the afghanistan operation. you should be there as part of the takeoff. there are two other countries, like denmark, seated in front of me, and finland, who has been great partners. -- sweden and finland. we are so strong in northern europe, they need to be at the table as well. not as members, but having some say. >> ambassador, your name has been invoked. you wanted to raise a question? >> thank you so much. " it is easier to be a dane and a german here today.
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[laughter] can i ask you to expand on what it is you want germany to do? to spend more? to have a noble ambition? -- global ambition? what is important, in concrete terms? german forces to be more expeditionary? i have not read the whole thing yet, but i have not heard the word european union mentioned at all. we can display soft power, at least, through the union? >> thank you. first, i answered your question for germany, it could become more of a political leader within the alliance. it sat out the libyan operation.
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secondly, germany, as i said before, is probably one of the most influential western countries in the alliance. if we have a major strategic challenge, which is figuring out how to work more effectively, germany would be much welcome, i am sure, by the united states if that happened. the first point is political leadership. the second point is political leadership. -- military leadership. nato said, 30 years ago, when jimmy carter was the president, hardly any of them spent that much back then. we have lowered it over the last couple of decades, saying could we all spend 2%? three of the two -- three of the 28 or doing so, my country far in the lead. it is fundamentally unfair at this time of great challenge to
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spend that much on defense when germany, in a healthier economic position, is spending 1.2%. if fairness and equality is important in nato, and we suggested that germany was not looking up to its responsibility, germany did serve and send troops to northern afghanistan in 2003, we know that germany suffered wounded and we sympathize with the german families of those soldiers. and yet germany refused to redeploy its troops to where the fighting was most intense. in southern and eastern afghanistan. for the past 10 or nearly 20 years now, it has been up to the dutch, canadians, and the danes to fight the taliban at its -- at its greatest level of
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intensity. germany has refused to redeploy its troops. the taliban has weakened our effort considerably. >> time for one more question. >> hello. let me allow a short comment. let me just try to respond. i am not sure if i agree with the unfocused sentiment that libya is some sort of metric of a member state in the alliance. of course, this was a very important operation, but they have invested a lot, politically.
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in poland. first in iraq, then afghanistan, coming up with those countries and parts of the taliban doing their job in the province. it is fair to say that this level of commitment in afghanistan is on the level of military spending that has not been matched by other alliances. of course, we supported this operation. to say that there might be some sort of operation in the european neighborhood, where not all allies participate in the origins, i think that should be taken, a more broad view should be taken.
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thank you. >> since this is a final question, if you could address that and address what libya is a model for? it is not necessarily a model for everyone in the alliance in gauging. people who talk about it is a model talk about it more as a model of the alliance providing infrastructure capabilities for something that members of the alliance in general support but would not all want to participate in within regional actors. that is a model that you can actually move around. the question was raised, but what exactly was it a model for? >> we are sitting here with a former ambassador to poland. look, i am happy and thankful for all of that leadership.
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in poland. you went into iraq when few others were. poland, of the 10 countries that have committed to nato since 1987, poland is waiting on the central european dabbers. with the greatest of respect, we just suggested in this report that it was a missed opportunity. politically, as well as militarily. certainly, because germany was a member of the military council, when the arab league requested it, it was probably an even more bitter disappointment. i would say, in conclusion to this question, libya is probably not a template for everything we need to do in the future. it was a very useful reminder that we are all in this
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together. i thought the president obama was right, in a time when we were clearly preoccupied with the withdraw from iraq and this difficult war in afghanistan, and our own domestic economic problems, it was good to see europe take a leadership role. united states did not leave, but europe did. it is not a template, because those situations will be quite rare. my own view is that we have to lead the alliance. some of our members, britain and france, decided that this was vital for them. i would prefer that the united states was with the alliance rather than absent. we played a supporting role. i do not see it as much of a template, but i cannot imagine many situations where the united states would want to
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separate itself from europe. we need to leave. over and over again in this report, nato needs this message and it is not aimed at the current administration. it is aimed at all of us and our congressional leaders who need to fully fund our military and diplomacy as we go ahead. >> thank you. ambassador, this is a very valuable paper that is already up. at acus.org. if you want to comment on it or meted -- read it more closely, it is a rich discussion. thank you for that. what is most important, and irrespective of what happens over the weekend, these are issues that are going to stay with us. i am very glad you touched on them, because it is about leadership in. thank you very much.
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[applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> several live events to tell you about today on our companion network c-span 3. a senate health subcommittee was to reduce the cost of hiv aids drugs at 10:00 a.m. eastern. at 1:00 p.m. eastern, you will see a hearing on chinese human rights when a house foreign affairs subcommittee gives us an
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update on the status of chinese dissident -- of a chinese dissident. in a few moments, today's headline and your calls live on "washington journal." members of the u.s. house of representatives meet at noon eastern for general speeches with legislative work beginning at 2:00 and on their agenda will have nearly a dozen bills for suspension of the roles and that includes the national blue alert back at what and has plans to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in a line of duty. in about 45 minutes, we will look at a lawsuit by the group common cause challenging the constitutionality of the senate's filibuster rules. our guest is the group's president and ceo. republican rep marsha blackburn of tennessee, the deputy of tennessee, the deputy republican whip,